Norway Lofoten and Vowels

One place we have long wanted to visit in Norway are the Lofoten Islands. They are farther north than we have been and off the northern west coast. All the photos show a beautiful place to visit.

Here are some details about that part of Norway and their language where one town is known by one letter, A:
Pronounced like the "o" in "born," "Å" is one of eight vowels in the Norwegian alphabet. It's also an Old Norse word meaning "small river." Only about 150 people live in the village, which is known for both fishing and tourism. Interestingly, the Å in Lofoten is not the only Å in Norway. At least six other towns have the same name, but Lofoten's Å is the most popular, likely because of the scenery and climate of the islands. The weather is mild, the mountains are large, and in the summertime, you can experience days with up to 24 hours of sunlight.

Irish Falconry and Language

Due to the interest of Shakespeare with falconry, the language of Irish falconry entered our lexicon through his writings. More here.

"“Now she’s ‘under your thumb’,” Healy-Rennison explained with a smile.
“Quite literally,” I replied, amused to learn the etymology of a phrase that I’ve used for most of my life. Only now I was standing in the place where the phrase was born – in the wet green woods of the Anglo-Irish gentry, with a giant hawk on my wrist, her jesses wrapped around my little finger. “Yet another phrase we get from falconry,” said Healy-Rennison, who advised me to add the extra grip of my pinkie."

Canadians and 'Eh'

If you haven't heard a Canadian say 'eh" or 'aboot', you haven't been around and certainly don't know many Canadians. It is a bit of a joke about this lovely group of people but why do they say it?

Well, this article does give a bit of the story behind the phrase. When you are done, you realize it shows how nice and polite Canadians are.

"Canadians are not particularly amused when you eagerly point out their “eh” habit, but the word has become emblematic of the country in a way that is now mostly out of their control. In response, some have embraced it, adopting it as an element of Canadian patriotism. But what even is this word? How did it come to be so associated with Canada?

“Eh” is what’s known as an invariant tag—something added on to the end of a sentence that’s the same every time it’s used. A tag, in linguistics, is a word or sound or short phrase added after a thought which changes that thought in some way. The most common tags are question tags, which change a thought into a question. “It’s a nice day, isn’t it?” would be one example. The tag “isn’t it” turns that statement of fact into something that could prompt a response; the speaker is asking for confirmation or rejection.

But “isn’t it” is a variant tag, because it will change based on the subject and tense of what came before it. If you’re talking about a plural subject, you’ll have to change that tag to “aren’t they,” and if you’re talking about something in the past you might have to change it to “wasn’t it.”"

Gaelic Language

I downloaded a new album by Runrig the other day. Yay!! Some of the songs are sung in Gaelic. Just to show how special Gaelic is too parts of Scotland and Scottish immigrants (especially to parts of Nova Scotia), I found this article that showed where Nova Scotia is reviving their Gaelic culture. Certainly they have the Gaelic college on Cape Breton Island we stopped at. I learned to love the sound of Gaelic just listening to Runrig on BBC Gaelic driving around Scotland.

Does It Really Mean This?

Many of us have run across the Latin appearing wording that is used as a wording placeholder on the web. The three main words that start the phrase are “Lorum ipsum dolor.” I am running across these words right now as we develop the new Winn Feline Foundation website. Someone has now translated the text. To see what it means, read about it here. Of course, there are places on the web that have their own translation version (highly made up) to this notorious placeholder phrase.

Origins to English

There are many early languages that serve as the basis for many of our English words. The languages are Latin, Germanic, old English based, and also Viking. Viking because they conquered a large part of the British Isles and their culture intertwined with the Anglo-Saxons. One has to visit York, England and visit the Viking Museum there to get a better flavor of this. The whole city has areas that show the influence of Vikings from centuries ago. I came across this webpage that covers a number of English words that derive from the Vikings. It is a bit of fun to sort through their examples.
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